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Blog Archive

 

Simulating Mars in the Middle East

Jason Davis • February 15, 2018

The Austrian Space Forum is leading a four-week Mars mission in Oman's Dhofar Desert.

Maintaining the health of an aging Mars orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2018

NASA has announced changes to how engineers are operating Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in order to prolong its life as long as possible, long enough to support the Mars 2020 rover mission.

Here are some takeaways from today's NASA budget proposal

Jason Davis • February 12, 2018

The White House's budget proposes $19.9 billion for NASA.

How the Falcon Heavy could revolutionize exploration of the ocean worlds

Casey Dreier • February 08, 2018

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is not just for big payloads, it can also throw light things into space very fast. And that has significant implications for the exploration of distant destinations in our outer solar system—particularly the ocean moons of the giant planets.

Speak your science: How to give a better conference talk

Emily Lakdawalla • February 06, 2018

Bad presentation often gets in the way of good science. Emily Lakdawalla offers her advice on how to present your scientific work effectively.

Falcon Heavy launches successfully!

Jason Davis • February 06, 2018

SpaceX is now the proud owner of the world's most powerful operational rocket.

Reporter's notebook: 'Twas the night before Falcon Heavy

Jason Davis • February 05, 2018

We're now less than a day away from SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test flight! Here's a recap of today's news.

Announcing the Planetary Science Congressional Caucus

Casey Dreier • February 05, 2018

I'm excited to share with you a major step forward for the support of space exploration in the U.S. Congress: the formation of a new caucus devoted to planetary science and exploration.

Let's talk about Elon Musk launching his Tesla into space

Jason Davis • February 05, 2018

Hop in, it'll be eternity 'till we make it to M83.

Before the State of the Union, a chance to talk science

Bill Nye • February 01, 2018

Before the State of the Union address, Bill Nye and Planetary Society staff met with sixteen sitting members of Congress. At each meeting they had the opportunity to talk about the importance of space exploration and scientific research.

Preview: Succeed or fail, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test sure to be a blast

Jason Davis • February 01, 2018

Possible outcomes of next week's test include an explosion or a car launched into orbit around the Sun.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Mission Completes 14 Years of Exploring, Opportunity Roves into Year 15!

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2018

In January, Opportunity quietly completed 14 years of surface operations on Mars—the longest-lived robot on another planet.

Bill Nye and the State of a Polarized Union

Casey Dreier • January 30, 2018

Last week, The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye accepted an invitation by NASA Administrator nominee Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to join him as his guest at the State of the Union address. We anticipated this would be a controversial decision, and we were right.

Engineering Qualification Model confirms performance of the Mastcam-Z!

Jim Bell • January 30, 2018

Just this past week, assembly of the Mastcam-Z EQM was completed, and we saw for the first time what one of our Mars zoom cameras would really look like.

Reconstructing the Viking '75 Mars lander Surface Sampler Collector

Tom Dahl • January 29, 2018

Viking enthusiast Tom Dahl has created an animation demonstrating the operation of the Viking lander's Surface Sampler Acquisition Assembly, or "scoop."

Some big moons in the Kuiper belt

Emily Lakdawalla • January 25, 2018

In a new preprint, Mike Brown and Bryan Butler show evidence that two Kuiper belt moons are even bigger than we used to think. They are Eris' moon Dysnomia, and Orcus' moon Vanth.

Creating a guidebook for Earth's hypothetical twin

Jason Davis • January 25, 2018

Early Earth's atmosphere wasn't a place for humans. Yet the planet had microbial life—something we should keep in mind for exoplanets.

International meetings: Moon initiatives

James D. Burke • January 25, 2018

Interest is rising globally in expanded lunar science, resource exploration and eventually permanent human settlement. Also, the potential for commercial lunar enterprises is being seriously examined.

New Horizons prepares for encounter with 2014 MU69

Emily Lakdawalla • January 24, 2018

Throughout 2018, New Horizons will cruise toward its January 1 encounter with 2014 MU69. Preparations for the flyby are nearly complete.

Here's our rolling list of space things affected by the U.S. government shutdown

Jason Davis and Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2018

The International Space Station stays open for business; everything else is at least somewhat affected.

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